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Diagnostics Microbiology and immunology, Oncology, Point of care testing, Technology and innovation

Research Roundup

Over Again
Relapse and eventual incurable metastatic disease are the grim outcomes for many patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Now, researchers have identified key tumor microenvironment subpopulations associated with ccRCC recurrence that are undetectable by gene expression analysis; specifically, TREM2/APOE/C1Q-positive macrophage infiltration (1).

Bundle of Energy
A new immunosensor based on the bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) principle can be used to “visualize the presence or the absence of an antigen as a change in the emission color without any instrument,” according to lead researcher Hiroshi Ueda (2,3).

Heart to Heart
Type 17 helper T (Th17) cells have been confirmed as a feature of myocardial injury in the acute phase of myocarditis (4). After being synthesized with Th17 cells, microRNA hsa-miR-Chr8:96 was then found in the plasma of myocarditis patients, successfully distinguishing them from those with myocardial infarction.

Recognizing Renal Dysfunction
New data suggests that cysteinylated (oxidized) albumin in serum could serve as a potential biomarker for kidney disease progression in type 2 diabetes patients (5). The results further suggest that oxidative stress is involved in renal dysfunction – even in patients with good glycemic control.

Mapping Metastases
The first atlases of melanoma brain metastases (MBM) and leptomeningeal melanoma metastases (LMM) have revealed cell type differences within their tumor microenvironments (6). The MBM immune environment is characterized by more activated CD4 T cells, whereas LMM shows an immune-suppressed environment with higher levels of dysfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells.

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  1. A Obradovic et al., Cell, 184, 2988 (2021). PMID: 34019793.
  2. R Takahashi et al., Anal Chem, 93, 7571 (2021). PMID: 34013723.
  3. Tokyo Institute of Technology (2021). Available at:
  4. R Blanco-Domínguez et al., N Engl J Med, 384, 2014 (2021). PMID: 34042389.
  5. T Imafuku et al., Diabetes Care, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 33905348.
  6. I Smalley et al., Clin Cancer Res, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34035069.
About the Author
Liv Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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